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nickname_changed
01-20-2004, 01:15 AM
I have an idea for a software project I would like to develop sometime in the near future. I want to get some of the opinions of people on this board for when I do start the project.

For the purposes of this post, imagine you are (unless you already are) a fat balding middle aged software developer, managing your own small (2-10 people) commercial software company. Your programmers are great, and your project is coming along fine, but finding people to write the documentation for your products is hard. Your programmers could do it, but they don't like to because it takes sooo long and its damn boring.

You want your documentation to be browsable over the internet (like MSDN), able to put the whole lot onto a CD within a few mins and not having to change anything, and to be able to create PDF and CHM (windows help file) versions of it.

Then you see an add for a product which does all this. It comes as a package of PHP files that you download and put on your web server. Your programmers create documentation through a web based interface not too dis-similar to these Post Thread pages, or they could use a special GUI C++/Java app. Once a document is written, its stored in the database.

The whole documentation tree can be converted to XML, XHTML, and possibly PDF or CHM. It can be browsed online the same way MSDN can, with your own customisable interface. Your want to offer the documentation as a CD for offline browsing? Simply go into the admin panel and click "Export to HTML" or "Export to CHM", and within a few minutes its all done, all placed in any directory you want, ready to be burnt onto a CD.

Thats just some of the features this documentation managment system has to offer.

Questions:
1) Would you, as the manager of the company, pay for this software? If so, how much?
2) Have you seen anything like this before?
3) Do you think it has the potential to actually make some money as a product?
4) Are you just being a smart ass with these answers, or are you serious?
5) Do you intend to copy my wonderful idea? If so its umm already patented so you cant!

Please be serious with you answers, I'm really interested in how this project could turn out.

Thankyou for even reading this post! Sorry it was so long! :D

DavidP
01-20-2004, 04:50 AM
1. i would. as a home user i wouldn't pay a penny but would pirate it instead and give it to every friend i have. as a manager i would pay between $100 - $300 for such software.

2. i personally have not, but i am sure there must be something like that out there...even if it is only made and used privately by companies.

3. i do. i think it is an excellent idea and would merit a lot of credit. if it is done well you would make bank.

4. i am a computer programmer, therefore i am always a smart***. just kidding, i am serious.

5. yes. and i already finished. you can go to your local Walmart, Target, Best Buy, CompUSA, Circuit City, or any other electronics and computer store and find it. It is called DocumenXP by DavidP Software. The retail price is $89.99 although you can get a 10% corporate discount if you buy it through your company and order directly from me. Of course I would have to add a 10% shipping charge to the base cost if you do that.

-=SoKrA=-
01-21-2004, 08:28 AM
Sounds like a good idea. But doesn't Doxygen do something like that? Maybe I'm reffering to something else.
I say go for it if you don't have anything more important to do.

major_small
01-21-2004, 08:34 AM
1) Probably... but not over $300...
2) No, but I haven't looked either
3) It depends... will it really be that useful to people? what exactly will it do... will it just create a structure for the programmers to fill in, creating easy tables and trees?
4) serious
5) no